Dear friends, I realize that my last post may have caused some panic and confusion given the title and creepiness of the poem. I’m so sorry! That poem is a joke poem, of course, many lines lifted straight from spam or scam messages I have received. I realize now that some of you read my poems in your email and never go to the WordPress site. I think I’d probably panic too! Please accept my apologies and I will be more careful with titles in the future!



greetings! i have to share bad news with you.
		dear user I am inside your email

approximately a few months ago...

[FRM:Pst L Patrick
MSG:Are you going through
financial stress because of this pandemic?
My Ministry is helping individuals and
(Con’t) 2 of 2
families with $20,000

Reply YES if you are
interested .please ignore if you
are not in this category
Pastor Rev. Patrick


some time ago, i purchased access to email accounts
		from hackers (simple to buy online)
...gained access to your devices. after that i have started
			tracking your internet activities

[One sip of this will trim Pounds
plus inches from first week
onwards. Recommended By
Sharktank Judges (link)]

some time ago, i purchased access to email from hackers
		(nowadays, it is quite simple to buy)

easily managed to log in to your email…

	one week later, i have already
		installed the trojan virus on
			all the devices you use
				to access email.

(it was not hard at all) all ingenious is simple. 🙂

i am invisible. likewise, i guess by now you understand why
		i have stayed undetected until
			this letter.

[ATT is giving you 200 dollars as
a thank you for your business
but you must claim it by today


while gathering information about you
i have discovered that you are a big fan of…
	...watching exciting videos...enduring pleasure…

if you have doubts, i can make a few clicks of my mouse
		and all your videos will be shared with
--colleagues, and

[WE OWE YOU $852.26. A new
ruling caused us to overcharge
you last year. Your insurance
refund is ready. Please claim it
within 48 HRS: (link)]

i also have no issue at all with making them available for
              public access.
i guess you don’t want that to happen
                       considering the specificity…
let’s settle it this way:
                       you transfer $2567 usa dollar to me
       (in bitcoin according to exchange rate)
i will delete all this...stuff right away.
after that,
			we will forget about each other
that is a fair deal
                   the price is relatively low

[AT&T Free Msg: Antonio, we
accidentally overcharged your
account last month. Kindly
your compensation here:

use a modern search engine

things you need to avoid from doing:
          *contacting police...security services
          *telling your friends (if i discover that (as you can see
		it is not so hard, considering that i control all your systems)
			your videos will be shared with the public right away))
          *don’t try to find me--it is pointless.
          *don’t try to reinstall the os or throw your devices away

all the videos have been saved to remote servers.

[Due to the pandemic, Netflix is
giving everyone a free 1-year
subscription to help you stay at
home. Get yours here

things you don’t need to worry about:
          *that i won’t be able to receive your funds
          *i will see right away (since i continuously track all your activities (my
	         	trojan virus has got a remote control)
          *that i will share your videos (after transfer, of course)

[We Will Lock Your Device Soon.
Please clear spam messages.
Scan Now – (link)]

                     trust me, i have no point to continue creating
troubles in your life. if i wanted that
		i would do it a long time ago!

[Using your identity the court has issued a
suspension notice along with the warrant
against your name ignoring this message
will be an intentional second attempt to
avoid initial appearance…]

everything will done in a fair manner!

one more thing: don’t get caught in similar situations in the future!

my advice: keep changing all your passwords frequently.

[…calling to let you know
that your car warranty has expired press one to
connect with an agent about
extending your car’s warranty…]

©stephanie g pepper, 2021

this is not a poem

Emily Dickinson published only ten poems in her lifetime, and those ten were published anonymously, perhaps, even, without her permission (Emily Dickinson Museum). Whether by her choice (“Publication is the auction of the mind” [788, Fr.]), or chance, or a result of society at the time, most of Dickinson’s poems remained unpublished until after her death. Dickinson did “self-publish” more than 800 poems by writing and laboriously “binding” folded sheets of paper into little books with string (known as fascicles). But the poet kept these fascicles to herself. Of the 1,789 known Dickinson poems, the vast majority remained for the poet’s eyes only. However, Dickinson did “gift” her poems to family and a few select friends. This brings me to the point.


I’ve read how farmers–wise farmers, that is–know to leave fields fallow for a season. These fallow seasons allow the earth to heal, to renew itself; to reclaim a little bit of its wildness, maybe. And so. This blog is going to lay fallow for a season while I evaluate its purpose and place. I will, of course, continue to write. How can I not? Poetry is the language of my soul; writing it is my lifeblood. But for a while, there won’t be any new content on this blog, or on any of the social media outlets.

Back to the point. I would love to continue sharing my poems privately. If you are interested in receiving random gifts of poetry from me, with much irregularity and absolute uncertainty, fill out the contact form (HERE) and I would be happy to share poems with you via email. (I suppose, if you wanted a handwritten poem via snail mail, I could do that too, although my handwriting is abhorrent, so choose that option at your own risk!)

To rest and wildness–



I do not abide that one
completes another;
for you are whole
                            in yourself,
as I am whole
                            in myself.

Even so, were I buried
a thousand years
deep in the limestone hills,
and you called out
my secret name,
                            I would rise to meet you.

My love, the wonder and the joy is this:
I fly higher when I fly
                            with you,
and our fires burn hotter when they burn

©stephanie pepper, 2021


weary of myself
linked hands light on gray walls
as shadow wings

a shapeshifter soul
shift now and rise
into the thinning day

shed tired skin from
torn muscles, drain marrow from bones
and sorrows from a beaten heart

shake loose the old dreams
broken by time, release stale
fantasies to fate

tread the twisted path
to the wild edge of dusk
where twilight thickens to black

if the road runs out
it is little concern
in flight there’s no need of earth

below are ribbons
of rivers and ridges and valleys deep
markings of time and place

with lightness of being
follow the path on the water
laid out by the white of the moon

where the sky meets the sea
a convergence of space
unfolds in eternity

beat now, raven, climb the steep wind
shiver and stretch in the thin cold air
on this midwinter night

bewitched with the night
and shadows and flight
carry darkness into the dawn

suffer the arrows of first morning light
rub gritty eyes with balled fists
and stretch out pale arms

longing for

©stephanie pepper, 2021

reading list: 2020 covid edition

Inspired by my friend Jennifer, I present my 2020 reading list.

2020 was a conscious, determined effort to read only from my shelf (who am I kidding: SHELVES). I confess that I added to said shelves along the way, as I found books that met me in the places I found myself. I also read around in several other poetry collections, but only included completed titles.

We Should All Be Feminists, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Book of Delights, Ross Gay
Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners, Naomi Shihab Nye
Constance, Jane Kenyon
Let Evening Come, Jane Kenyon
A Small Porch: Sabbath Poems 2014 and 2015, Wendell Berry
The Sea in You: Twenty Poems of Requited and Unrequited Love, David Whyte
Sorry for Your Troubles, Pádraig Ó’Tuama
Gratitude, Oliver Sacks
The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
Between the Dark and the Daylight: Embracing the Contradictions of Life, Joan D. Chittister
Swan: Poems and Prose Poems, Mary Oliver
The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell
Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, Ross Gay
The Bell and the Blackbird, David Whyte
Upstream: Selected Essays, Mary Oliver
The Boat of Quiet Hours: Poems, Jane Kenyon
Anam Cara: a Book of Celtic Wisdom, John O’Donohue
A Hundred White Daffodils, Jane Kenyon
The Soul’s Slow Ripening, Christine Valters Painter
Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Speaking of Faith: Why Religion Matters—and How We Talk About It, Krista Tippett
An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor
Eternal Echoes: Celtic Reflections on Our Yearning to Belong, John O’Donohue
This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected & New: 1979-2013, Wendell Berry (read, savored slowly over the course of three years)
For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
Confessions of a Christian Mystic, River Jordan
99 Psalms, SAID
Magdalene: Poems, Marie Howe
Imagination in Place, Wendell Berry
How the Light Gets In: Writing as a Spiritual Practice, Pat Schneider
The Best Day the Worst Day: Life with Jane Kenyon, Donald Hall
The Persistence of Rivers: an essay on moving water, Alison Townsend

When in the soul such darkness loosed

When in the soul such darkness loosed
uncovers what light hath hid;
what gaudy day hath swept aside
the tender night embraced.

Unveiled in dreams, what secrets pass,
unknown to lucid dawn?
Thus where but darkness doth prayer come,
the hoarse and truest cry?

It shivers on the fragile skin,
unbinds the heart at last–
and gathers up the lonely tears,
in garish daylight spilt.

©stephanie pepper, 2020